Lena Dunham has said she is optimistic about having children in the future, following her hysterectomy. The Girls star chose to undergo surgery after suffering with endometriosis, which she has spoken candidly about in the past. She is far from the only celebrity to bravely open up about fertility issues, with stars including Chrissy Teigen, Izzy Judd and Courteney Cox all revealing they underwent IVF or other fertility treatment in order to conceive.
Although she has always dreamed of carrying a child, Lena said she will pursue other ways of becoming a mother following her hysterectomy. "I may have felt choiceless before, but I know I have choices now. Soon I'll start exploring whether my ovaries, which remain someplace inside me in that vast cavern of organs and scar tissue, have eggs. (Your brain, unaware that the rest of the apparatus has gone, in theory keeps firing up your eggs every month, to be released and reabsorbed into the cavern.) Adoption is a thrilling truth I'll pursue with all my might," Lena wrote.
She added: "But I wanted that stomach. I wanted to know what nine months of complete togetherness could feel like. I was meant for the job, but I didn't pass the interview. And that's OK. It really is. I might not believe it now, but I will soon enough. And all that will be left is my story and my scars, which are already faded enough that they’re hard to find."
Chrissy Teigen has been outspoken about her experiences with infertility, and revealed she underwent IVF to conceive her daughter Luna, and second child, who is due in the spring. Her husband John also opened up about their struggle in Mr Porter's The Journal, explaining: "We figured eventually we'd have to go into the doctor and see why it wasn't happening naturally. You know, sometimes it's just harder for some people than for others.
"We're just happy that we were able to do it with our doctor. He's [doctor] never really told us that there was something specific that he could identify was the reason why it just didn't work out naturally. We did what we had to do."
McFly drummer Harry Judd and his wife Izzy also had IVF to conceive their first child, Lola, who was born in January 2016. However, they were later able to conceive their second child, Kit, naturally. "Every baby is a miracle but we do feel so very lucky," Izzy told HELLO! when she announced her first pregnancy. "I never wanted to stop believing that we would have a family. But you do feel like someone has pressed pause on your life and you can't go anywhere." The mum-of-two has since written a book, Dare to Dream, about her experiences.
Kim Kardashian used a gestational surrogate to carry her third child, baby Chicago, who was born in January. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star was unable to carry any more children after experiencing complications and developing placenta accreta during her first two pregnancies.
Kim has been open about her experiences with the condition, saying it had been "the most painful experience of my life" having the placenta removed following the birth of her daughter North in 2013. Writing in a blog post shortly after, Kim explained: "Right after delivery, the placenta usually then comes out. Mine did not. My placenta stayed attached inside my uterus, which is a condition called placenta accreta. My doctor had to stick his entire arm in me and detach the placenta with his hand, scraping it away from my uterus with his fingernails. How disgusting and painful!!!"
The Big Little Lies star once said she had a "rollercoaster ride with fertility", explaining that she and former husband Tom Cruise chose to adopt their children Isabella and Connor after struggling to conceive. She was later able to conceive her daughter Sunday Rose naturally, but had difficulty falling pregnant again, so used a gestational surrogate to carry her daughter Faith.
"Anyone that's been in the place of wanting another child or wanting a child knows the disappointment, the pain and the loss that you go through trying and struggling with fertility," Nicole said in 2011. "Fertility is such a big thing, and it's not something I've ever run away from talking about."
The actress suffered a miscarriage before welcoming her daughter Gaia in 1999, but was unable to conceive again, even with IVF. She later went on to adopt a son, Tindy, a former child soldier from Rwanda. "I couldn't have more children, and that was hard; but perhaps if I had [had more], I'd have missed out on this extra act of mothering that I've had with Tindy. Because there was space in my life for him, and I don't think there would have been space if I'd had another young child around," Emma said in 2010.
Friends star Courteney Cox revealed she suffered a few miscarriages before conceiving her daughter Coco through IVF. Speaking to People magazine in 2003, Courteney said she and her former husband David Arquette would "bounce back pretty quickly" after each miscarriage, adding: "I don't say it's a walk in the park. But what are you going to do? We just try again."
Tyra Banks welcomed her son York via gestational surrogate in 2016, after experiencing fertility issues and having difficulty with IVF. She previously opened up about her experiences in a chat with Chrissy Teigen, saying: "It's so funny when I was 23 years old, I used to tell myself, 'In three years, I’m going to have kids.' Then I turned 24. 'In three years, I'm going to have kids,'" she said. "Every single year I kept saying that. And then after a while it's like, 'Okay, now I want to.' And it's not so easy."